Leptogenys mavaca

Every Ant Tells a Story - And Scientists Explain Their Stories Here
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Leptogenys mavaca
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Ponerinae
Tribe: Ponerini
Genus: Leptogenys
Species: L. mavaca
Binomial name
Leptogenys mavaca
Lattke, 2011

Leptogenys mavaca P.jpg

Leptogenys mavaca D.jpg

Specimen Label

The type series was found in a rotting palm trunk on the ground in a lowland forested area.


Lattke (2011) - Eye broadly convex, large, occupying more than one-fourth of lateral cephalic margin; funicular segments cylindrical and elongate; median process triangular, slender, abruptly projecting anterad; mesopleuron and ventral metapleuron with transverse, roughly parallel striae.

A member of the langi species group. This species might be taken for Leptogenys langi on account of similarities in size, smoothened sculpture, pointed median lobe and a strong constriction between abdominal segments III and IV, but L. langi has the funicular segments sharply constricted basally, the mandibles lack the internal curvature, the median clypeal process is more acute and evenly tapers from the anterior margin. The body is smoother in L. langi, with little or no striation on the posterior mesosomal sides.

Keys including this Species


Brazil and southern Venezuela.

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Brazil, Venezuela (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


The biology of Leptogenys mavaca is poorly known.

The Leptogenys genus page has more details about the general biology of ants in this genus, some of which is summarized in what follows. New World species have relatively small ranges, generally occur in humid forests and prey on isopods. Colonies may occur in high densities on a local scale, with up to 5 or 6 species present. Nest size tends to be small with just 20 or 30 individuals in a mature colony. Nests of most species may be found in rotten wood on the ground, usually within cavities in logs or large branches, and also beneath bark. Wood-soil and rock-soil interfaces are another common nesting location, as well as rock crevices, and a few species may nest directly in the soil. Reproduction is most commonly via ergatoid females and, in many species, may include egg-laying workers.


Male unknown.


The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.

  • mavaca. Leptogenys mavaca Lattke, 2011: 180, fig. 34 (w.q.) VENEZUELA.

Unless otherwise noted the text for the remainder of this section is reported from the publication that includes the original description.



Metrics, holotype (paratypes, n = 2): HL 0.87 (0.87 – 0.90); HW 0.52 (0.50 – 0.52); ML 0.37 (0.33 –0.38); EL 0.18 (0.17 – 0.18); SL 0.84 (0.84 – 0.84); PW 0.50 (0.48 – 0.52); WL 1.27 (1.25 – 1.32); PH 0.50 (0.52 – 0.55); PL 0.45 (0.42 – 0.45); DPW 0.35 (0.35 – 0.38) mm. CI 0.60 (0.57 – 0.57); MI 0.71 (0.67 – 0.74); OI 0.35 (0.33 – 0.35); SI 1.61 (1.61 – 1.67); LPI 1.11 (1.15 – 1.32); DPI 0.78 (0.78 – 0.92).

Head subrectangular in full-face view, posterior margin straight, lateral margin curves medially to posterior margin, lateral margin posterad of eye convex; clypeal margin sinuate, median process triangular, slender, abruptly projecting anterad. Eye broadly convex, occupying more than one-fourth of lateral cephalic margin; individual lens distinct, no hint of fusing into each other at perimeter. Cephalic dorsum mostly smooth and shining with sparse piligerous punctulae; frontal carinae separated by shallow sulcus almost half their length. Scape surpasses posterior cephalic border by more than 3 apical widths, widest at mid-length; funicular segments cylindrical and elongate, fourth segment more than half the length of third, third segment longer than three widths. Scape punctate, with suberect to decumbent pilosity, no pubescence; cephalic ventral surface smooth and shining; hypostomal tooth brief, close to mandibular base. Mandibles close tight against clypeus leaving gap at base of median clypeal process; mandible of uniform width; dorsal surface smooth and shining, basal margin sinuate, basal convexity with 3 stout hairs; masticatory margin edentate, basal sulcus well developed.

Mesosoma with dorsal margin forming two broad convexities in lateral view, metanotal groove well impressed; propodeal dorsal margin meets declivitous margin at blunt angle; declivity straight to broadly convex; pronotum and propleuron smooth and shining, ventral pronotal groove fine; mesopleuron and ventral metapleuron with transverse, roughly parallel, striae; mesometapleural suture scrobiculate; most of metapleuron and propodeum smooth and shining; propodeal spiracle rounded, opening posterolaterally facing; metathoracic spiracular tubercle convex, rounded. Mesosomal dorsum smooth and shining; mesonotum wider than long in dorsal view with sub-parallel posterior and anterior margins; declivity with transverse striae; propodeal teeth blunt, at same height as spiracle.

Petiole sub-quadrate in lateral view; anterior margin more than half the height of posterior margin, or forming continuous convexity with dorsal margin; dorsal margin broadly convex, highest posterad; posterior margin mostly straight to very broadly concave, with modest ventral convexity. Posterior face flat to slightly convex; node smooth and shining. Node roughly as long as wide in dorsal view, width of anterior margin ranging from half to more than half width of posterior margin; posterior margin slightly convex. Gaster smooth and shining with sparse piligerous punctulae, constriction between segments III and IV well marked; pygidium without longitudinal crest; pygidial margin evenly convex in lateral view. Procoxa in lateral view smooth and shining; setae on posterior tarsal margins reduced; tibia lacking apical setae. Antennae, and mandibles brown; legs and gastral apex light brown; body dark brown, almost black.


Metrics: HL 0.92; HW 0.53; ML 0.35; EL 0.18; SL 0.85; PW 0.43; WL 1.30; PH 0.53; PL 0.42; DPW 0.42 mm. CI 0.58; MI 0.66; OI 0.34; SI 1.59; LPI 1.28; DPI 1.00. Similar to worker with mesosoma appearing more convex in lateral view, metanotal groove appears deeper; node compressed, in dorsal view with anterior margin less than half as wide as posterior margin; gaster enlarged.

Type Material

Holotype worker. Venezuela, Amazonas, Alto Río Mavaca, [Tapirapecó Basecamp], 2°1′N 65°7′W, 200 m, 31.i.1989, J. Lattke 1230. One worker deposited in Instituto de Zoologia Agricola. – Paratypes. All from the same nest as the holotype: 1w 1q MIZA; 1w Museum of Comparative Zoology; 1w The Natural History Museum.


The species name alludes to the type locality, Mavaca, a Yekuana indian village.